When to Start Potty Training

The secret to a successful potty training, which is a big step for both kids and parents alike, is patience. Many kids show interest in potty training by age 2, but success does not depend on any specific age. Some kids may not even be ready beyond the age of 2 ½ or older. Most of the time, success hinges on physical and emotional readiness, not a specific age. The bottom line is that there's no need to rush because those who train a little bit earlier may take longer than expected.

When to Start Potty Training

According to research and studies done, healthy children are not yet physically and emotionally ready to use the toilet until they are between the ages of 18 months and three years old. It is noticeable that girls tend to be more pliant when it comes to toilet training—learning a few months earlier than boys.

Many parents start toilet training their children around the ages of two to three years old, but there is no official age. Although this is practical since it is during these times that children begin to stand up and walk around, mastering their gross motor skills. This makes them more receptive to instructions. Furthermore, it is during this stage that toddlers grasp a bit of control in their urethra and rectum. Take cues from your child's reception of potty training and don't force them if they don't want to start yet.

Signs to Look For

This checklist will help you keep track of your child's readiness and progress towards initial self-independence of going to the toilet like an adult. Patience is key, but you don't need to wait for every item to get ticked off for you to know when to start. Just eye for a trend and go from there.

Physical Signs of Readiness

Is your child's poo regularly softer and more formed and comes out at predictable times of the day?

  • If he or she is now able to not poop during the night, then he or she might already be ready.
  • A further sign to look out for is when your toddler is already capable of taking naps without him or her soiling diapers. This means that your toddler has already developed his or her bladder and rectal inner muscles, enough to hold wee and poop in.
  • Your toddler shows interest and curiosity as to what occurs when you go inside the bathroom.
  • He or she is already capable of pulling down and up his or her pants alone.

Behavioral Signs of Readiness

  • Your child might show that he shows interest in pleasing you and that he enjoys being praised. This might prompt him to learn how to go to the potty on his own.
  • Demonstration of independence specifically doing things on his or her own.
  • Soiled nappies make them feel uncomfortable.

Cognitive Signs of Readiness

  • Your toddler must know how to respond correctly and affirmatively when you ask him whether or not he is ready to pee or poo.
  • Your child is able to state out loud that he is peeing or pooping or that he needs to do these things before actually doing it.
  • If they have actual words for wee and poo.
  • Being aware that she /he is pooping or taking a wee and stops doing any activity for a minute to give way for excretion.

How to Start Potty Training

  • Put the potties at the same exact conspicuous spaces where your training child can see them right away. It helps if an older child is seen using it. Talk to them whenever you poo and they show interest in what you're doing.
  • Encourage them to use the potty as soon as they feel the need to pee. If they don't hit the mark, don't make a fuss while cleaning it up so they won't be anxious about it and be more successful next time around. It takes time to get the hang of new habits.
  • Happiness will be the end goal for a child who'd succeed in the end. Little praises will help, but don't give sweets as a reward. When the time is right, your child will want to use the potty and they will just be happy to get it right.

Watch videos for more potty training techniques:


How Long Does Potty Training Take?

You can only fully tell that a child is fully toilet-trained if he or she already knows when and how to go to the bathroom and climb onto the toilet with only a little assistance. Boys can be fully trained at an average of 38 months, while girls were trained two months earlier at 36. This was according to a study of children who started training between 22 and 30 months of age.

The assistance you may provide includes wiping and cleaning their hands after every bowl movement until they're about 4 or 5. Extra help will also be particularly needed at unfamiliar bathrooms lie public restrooms until they're about age 6.

What If My Child Resists?

Any sign of resistance is a sign that he or she isn't ready, yet. Major changes in routine may postpone toilet training. There are also times that a child who's normally doing well at training may suddenly have difficulty along the way for no obvious reasons at all. This is completely normal and resuming with any postponed potty training must always take into consideration the child's receptiveness and a stable environment.

Make your child's memorable experience with potty training a positive one. Do not make it turn out like a big battle of wills. It is always best to gauge the child's readiness and not yours.

When to Seek Help

Occasional accidents may happen and they're completely normal, but it may lead to unnecessary teasing and embarrassment at school. A child that reverts to his old ways especially if they're at age 4 or older may require medical attention; seek your attending physician's help. Wetting problems are sometimes symptoms of a more serious underlying physical condition such as an overactive bladder or Urinary Tract Infection. Prompt treatment can help your child become accident-free.

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